Just ask any New Yorker about their parks and they’ll tell you how important those little (and sometimes not so little) green oases are to their sanity. But for decades the parks have been the poor stepchild at budget time. The Parks Department has received on average .59% of the budget, and it would lose money as other agencies were considered to have greater needs. Well, no more. This year Parks has been allocated a fat wad of much-needed cash, $43 million, to be exact, and parks advocates are cheering. Lynn Kelly is the Executive Director of New Yorkers for Parks, an organization that has been fighting for help for the city’s parks for more than a century. She’ll talk about “Play Fair”, the coalition of parks advocates and conservationists that have banded together to put parks at the forefront in every City Council budget meeting. Martha Lopez-Gilpin’s organization, the Astoria Park Alliance, is a member of that coalition, and they cover Astoria Park (and if you don’t remember the Astoria Pool, you’re not a true New Yorker). She’ll talk about what that cash can mean to parks not called Central, that don’t get the philanthropic attention (and funding) that the big parks receive.